Mayor says drug abuse not tolerated

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden has reiterated Queenstown's zero tolerance for drug and alcohol abuse after a Christchurch judge labelled it "a party town for drugs" this week.

When sentencing a 22-year-old female in the Christchurch District Court on charges of possessing the class C drug speed , Judge Jane Farish described Queenstown as "known for being a party town for drugs and that's what you were doing there", The Press reported this week.

Although the female and a male had bought 32 point-bags of speed in Christchurch, Judge Farish said since the woman had left Queenstown she had got herself "sorted out".

Ms van Uden said she could not speak directly about Judge Farish's comments but said the council and police had a "zero tolerance" policy for drug and alcohol abuse in the resort.

"The police and council make sure the right initiatives and systems are in place - the CCTV system is a good example of taking that action."

The council plans to install a closed-circuit television system by May 19 around the resort's centre and night spots.

"I suspect people don't like to be found on film doing bad things.

"Its not about wrecking people's fun, but ensuring the fun is had in a safe environment.

"The police do a very good job here and we are very lucky.

"As a community we need to keep working hard to keep it a safe place.

"We just need to maintain the things we are doing and send a clear message we don't have any tolerance for bad behaviour.

"We want people to have fun in Queenstown."

- olivia.caldwell@odt.co.nz